Honestly, ask 10 different people for an opinion on your resume and you’ll get ten different answers. So what’s the big deal anyway? The big deal is this - like it or not, the resume is your “golden ticket” (ala American Idol) to getting that interview. You have approximately ten seconds of a recruiters attention span to showcase your qualifications and land that interview. If there is not enough compelling and relevant information that fits the need they are looking to fill, you’ve lost them. So how do you achieve this in ten seconds? With a careful, strategic approach to building this critical tool.
A few critical tips:
Quantify your accomplishments whenever you can (in a competitive job market results speak volumes.)
Take credit for the value you added in previous jobs (did you introduce new programs or improvements that made a real impact within your organization?)
Don’t write your resume as if it’s a job description. (The term “responsible for” is boring!)
Focus on highlights of your qualifications and accomplishments that are truly relevant to the job you are seeking (if you can’t articulate this on paper, how do you think you will fare in an interview?)
Review your resume side by side with the jobs you are targeting - does the terminology match up? If you are making a transition from one industry to another and you are confident your skills transfer, make sure that your resume reflects this in transferable lingo.
Review sample resumes on the web for ideas! Google “resume samples” for links to useful resources.
Writing your own resume is not impossible and you know yourself better than anyone. But if you are like many people I have met in my career in recruiting and career coaching, you know that you can sell yourself once you get the interview but articualting your qualifcations on paper effectively is a major challenge. Perhaps it is worth exploring making an investment in yourself and consulting a resume writer. There are many well qualified consultants out there (780 came up on a LinkedIn search for “resume writer”). Find someone whose processes and style you are comfortable with and who understands the market you are trying to penetrate. If could make a huge difference in your success and unleash your career potential!